Let me ask you a question.
If there was a generation war happening in the workplace, which generation do you see having the best chance for the win?
If you ask me, I’d go with Millennials.
They’re becoming the largest age group in the global workforce, gradually replacing previous generations on positions of all kinds.
But the quantity isn’t the main reason why they should be winners.
As NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway said:
Millennials are "the most talented generation I've ever worked with. Hands down."
So it’s about quality, too.
That’s why the majority of talent professionals say they’re already focusing on recruiting Millennials.
They’re asking companies to introduce workplace benefits and perks that Millennials love, including flexible hours, remote work, more development opportunities, a super casual working environment, leading instead of managing, and so on.
That’s why it becomes increasingly difficult for employers to impress Millennials.
No worries, though, there are plenty of things you can do to convince them to stay and work at your company.
In this article, you’ll find five great tips for employers to retain Millennial employees and make them as productive and happy as possible.
1. Create a Working Model that Attracts Millennials
Let’s begin with the essentials. If we’re going to announce it to the Millennials of the world that your company is exactly what they need, we need to make sure that it’s true.
Here’s how you start.
Do Some Fieldwork
Conduct an employee survey asking them what they like and didn’t like about their position, everyday duties, working environment, etc.
The results of this survey might help you discover issues and barriers contributing to turnover.
Here’s an example. Let’s suppose that you’re reading a survey form from a Millennial employee:
“What I don’t like about my job is the fact that I can’t spend more time with my daughter. I got off work at 6 pm and come home at 7:30 pm, so there’s only a couple of hours left until they need to go to bed.”
Obviously, this person could use such perk as flexible hours. For example, instead of demanding the traditional nine-to-five, make it possible for them to come at eight and leave at four, which would give them much more time to spend with their kid.
The rest takes care of itself.
Give More Autonomy to Your Employees
A millennial person is much more likely to stay with a company which gives them autonomy and flexibility to be their own boss. This means ditching I’m-the-boss-here and other traditional management approaches and teaching managers how to be leaders and assistants.
“But how do I know that the employees do what they’re supposed to do?”
Recruitment experts say it’s actually easy.
Millennials are great at working autonomously and they don’t need a manager telling them what to do, says Sam Donovan, a talent acquisition expert at Grab My Essay.
“The best thing you can do as an employer is to make your expectations and performance benchmarks very clear,” adds Donovan.
When Millennials know what’s expected of them, they will prioritize their time and do their best to do the job well.
As a result, the long-term benefit of this strategy would be a higher retention rate, as more Millennial employees will be happy with the way you run the company.
2. Company Benefits: are they Millennial-Friendly?
As far as Millennials are concerned, company benefits aren’t created equal. For example, traditional perks like better pay don’t play the role they used to, so higher salaries can still cause a high turnover rate and other unwanted things.
To make more people want to stay with your company, you need to have a system of company benefits that Millennials actually seek. It’s going to look quite different from the one that companies had to baby boomers, for example, and shows how impactful Millennials really are on the workplace culture.
Here are some of the most important benefits to have:
Remote work at least once a week
Millennials want to have a better work-life balance, so they enjoy working from the comforts of their homes. That’s why your company policy should allow at least one home office day per week.
Recognition and feedback: mentoring, webinars, online courses
These are the things that many Millennials consider more important than compensation, so it’s important for companies to have an on-spot recognition and feedback system to demonstrate their commitment to the professional development of employees as well as their job satisfaction.
Giving feedback and recognition is now possible in ways that Millennials love: digitally. For example, recognition and rewards systems like Vantage Rewards take it one step further introducing employee/team/department points, voucher cards to redeem them in popular stores, and even choose oww rewards.
Image: A branded voucher for rewarding employees for their work
Having such a system can give a major boost to employer brand; since many Millennials tell their friends about companies they like to work for, your workforce can take some employer promotion work off your shoulders.
Development opportunities: challenging work, hands-on experience with new technology, conferences.
Nothing is scarier for Millennials than sitting in one place as a professional. If they’re not learning something and contributing, you’d be surprised how quickly they will become bored and unengaged with everything going on inside the company.
Fresh coffee and fruit
Okay, this doesn’t sound like much but the quality of coffee and the availability of fruit are important for those young geniuses. Just FYI, Millennials consume 44 percent of all coffee in the U.S.
These should be the pillars of your company benefits if you’d like to retain and attract more Millennials.
3. Have the Right Tech in Your Office
Millennials are very fond of technology, so if you use outdated tech in your office, they won’t be impressed. For many of them, the goal is to work in a company that uses cutting-edge tools, because they need them to work on complex projects, especially in the tech industry.
There are actually two good reasons why having tech is good:
It’s a must to compete with other companies in the niche
It’s great for automating repetitive processes and working faster.
In addition to hardware, tech also includes the latest apps. For example, Millennials use many tools for team collaboration, video meetings, time tracking, email marketing, and other things that help them with automation and time management.
4. Embrace Diversity in the Workplace
No other generation matches the diversity of Millennials. The equal and fair treatment from employers is something they expect, so here’s why you can promote diversity and inclusion in your company.
First, make sure that the company accepts and values points of view of all employees regardless of their age, experience, gender, ethnicity, or race.
“Many companies are working on bringing diversity into the workplace,” says Youcef Mahrez, a senior writer at Trust My Paper. “One common way is to increase the percentage of diverse employees in all positions, including those of the leadership level.”
Mahrez advises companies to check how many diverse candidates are applying to open positions. A low number might be a red flag that indicates some shortcomings in the recruitment strategy, according to him.
5. Encourage Socialization and Team Building
For Millennials, socializing with their colleagues, both in and out of the office, is very important. That’s why team leaders should be able to devote some time to arrange team-building activities and other events that encourage socialization.
One way to turn the company into a community is to hold regular meetups, camps, and activities and invite as many employees as possible. For example, a company can organize a meet-up at a local pizzeria once in a month to get to know new employees, share stories, and otherwise build better relationships.
A good start would also be a closed social media group for company employees where everyone could post updates, news, content, and other information others might find interesting and relevant. To make sure that the group stays active, companies assign heads of people & culture and social media managers to create discussions, etc.
A New Era in Employee Retention
Yes, retaining Millennial employees is a bit difficult. They’re the most demanding generation that comes with a long list of preferences and needs. However, they’re also one of the most talented and innovative generations in history, and they’ve been extremely successful at making companies successful in all industries.
Millennials like to work in flexible, innovative, positive workplaces where their opinion is heard and appreciated. If you begin by building a model that creates the foundation for a Millennial-friendly workplace, you can place your business in a better position to be supported by the talents of these awesome individuals.